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Health Benefits of Bitter Kola

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There are many great health benefits of bitter kola, but before we look at those health benefits, let us talk about what bitter kola is.

Bitter kola is also known as African wonder nut or Garcina kola. Bitter kola has always been used because of its great medical properties. It is a plant that is mostly found in the Central and Western parts of Africa especially Nigeria, Ghana. Gabon, Cameroon.

Bitter kola is a plant that has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries –however, its seeds are commonly eaten. Bitter kola is usually eaten raw and also has a very bitter taste and a slight sweetness when you chew it.

To get the most out of bitter kola, you need to ignore the bitter taste because there are lots of great health benefits that can be derived from the seed, nuts and even the back. They can also be used for treating different types of illnesses. Another health benefits of bitter kola are that it fights viral infections and bacteria.

Research has shown that bitter kola has lots of nutrients. It is high in iron, protein, calcium, vitamin c, potassium and caffeine etc.

Now let’s dive into the wonderful health benefits of bitter kola.

Below Are The Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola.

There are lots of health benefits of bitter kola, but in this article, we are going to look at some of its benefits.

1. Used To Treat Malaria:

Bitter kola has an antimalarial catalyst that helps in the treatment of malaria in the body. It has Kolaviron in it which is what makes it to be an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. For centuries, traditional doctors or healers have always prescribed bitter kola to their patients.

2. Anti Bacteria:

Research has shown that the bitter kola leaf and its seed have properties that help fight against bacteria.

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3. Anti Glaucoma:

When there is increased pressure inside the eye, it is called glaucoma. If not treated, the pressure in the eye can lead to blindness. A group of scientist has proved that if eye drop is made from bitter kola, they can help treat the pressure in the eye thereby treating glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, visit your eye doctor for proper treatment.

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4. Improve lungs:

Improvement of lung function is another health benefits of bitter kola. It has been proven that bitter kola has a positive effect on how the lungs function and improves ventilation levels. It has also been proven that bitter kola can help fight respiratory disorders, which means it can aid in the cure of asthma.

5. Fight Infection:

For centuries, bitter kola has been used to fight infection from hepatitis and common cold. Bitter kola fights viral infections, coughs and bacterial infections. Frequent eating of bitter kola can help prevent/fight infection and speed up the healing process. This is another great health benefits of bitter kola that makes so many people want to eat it.

6. Fight Cold:

Bitter kola is known for its ability to fight cold in the body because it can enlarge the alveolar sac and duct. It helps relife cold in the chest and helps fight flu.

7. Improves Immune System:

Bitter kola helps in the improvement of the immune system. It helps the body to act as an anti-infective agent which helps the body to adapt to stress. Another great health benefits of bitter kola are that it has a high amount of antioxidants. Every day, we experience environmental hazards from, ultraviolet rays, smoke from cigarettes or tobacco, and air pollution.

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These hazards cause free radicals to develop in the body system, which damages important cells in the body. But when you have antioxidants, it makes your immune system high, thereby fighting those free radicals. A strong immune system helps fight disease, which makes us stay healthy.

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8. Reduce Inflammation:

If you are suffering from inflammatory conditions like arthritis, frequently chewing bitter kola can help you heal faster. Research has proved that people suffering from osteoarthritis showed great improvement in inflammation when eating bitter kola. Potassium found in bitter kola is what helps in the reduced inflammation

9. Diabetes:

These are great health benefits of bitter kola. Kolaviron found in bitter kola helps fight against hypoglycemia which is found in people living with type 2 diabetes. The bitter kola seed has the ability to lower glucose in the blood which makes it a good diabetes treatment method.

10. Treats Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis degenerates joint cartilage and underlying bone, which causes stiffness and pain in the joints, hip and knee. Bitter kola has the property that helps in treating this alignment.

11. Weight Loss:

These are the best health benefits of bitter kola for me. This is because of its ability to help shed weight. The juice extracted from bitter kola has the potential to suppress your appetite and increase gastric juice production which helps to speed up metabolism and improve digestion. So if you really want to reduce some weight, then add bitter kola to your diet.

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Other health benefits of bitter kola are:

  • Bitter kola is also used for the treatment of congestive heart failure
  • Bitter kola can be used for the treatment of urinary tract infections.
  • For Treating toothache and mouth inflammation.
  • Treats insect bites.
  • To chase snake away.
  • Helps to dissolve gallstones.
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Side Effect Of Bitter Kola.

Like it’s said, too much of everything is bad. Yes, there are great health benefits of bitter kola, so also as their side effects. Below are the common side effects of bitter kola.

  • Bitter kola can cause involuntary movements. Research has found that bitter kola can have side effects on the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. It makes the body shake and causes anxiousness and quivering.
  • Bitter kola has the tendency of increasing blood pressure according to Medical News Today. So if you are hypertensive, stay away from bitter kola.
  • Bitter kola can deprive you of sleep because of the caffeine in it. Caffeine keeps you alert which makes falling asleep very difficult.


We have learned about bitter kola, the health benefits of bitter kola and its side effect. Knowing how to prepare and take it is another thing we should learn.

Traditionally, all parts of the bitter kola plant, seed and nuts are used as medicine, but the nuts are mostly eaten raw. The bitter kola nut can be soaked in water and taken as juice.

Hope this article on the health benefits of bitter kola has been helpful to you.

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  1. I doubt some of the side effects you mentioned. Like you said it increases bp. And secondly you didn’t some other importance like it detoxify the system

    • Thank you Prosper! We would continually research and update the post with any relevant information/data we come across and we would like you to always check back here and share your thoughts on them!


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